Samurai beauty

Edo period samurai armor in the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection
Edo period samurai armor in the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection

If anyone knew how to express both pageantry and lethality it was the Edo period Samurai  — as a show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, amply demonstrates.  The headline the WSJ gave my review says it all: “Dressed to Kill in Peacetime.”

Much of their fearsome beauty is due to the textures and rhythm of patterns that the laces holding their armor together create.  Hard not to run your fingers along along the ridges or flip over a flap to see the underside.  Then again, even uninhabited, the armor might not take too kindly to such intrusions.

detail of samurai armor in the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection
detail of samurai armor in the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection
detail of samurai armor in the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection
detail of samurai armor in the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection

detail of samurai armor in the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection
detail of samurai armor in the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection